The Hiring Experience

What does your job description say you do?

October 12, 2023 Max & Mike Episode 14
The Hiring Experience
What does your job description say you do?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered why your perfectly strategised recruitment drive is failing to attract the right candidates? It could very well be your job description – the overlooked cornerstone of successful hiring - that's the culprit. Together with Max and Mike, we reveal the art behind crafting a comprehensive job description, compiling the vital components and the critical part someone who has been in the role could play in its creation.

In our discussion, we draw an interesting comparison between ideal customer profiles and job descriptions, and showcase how the principles of targeted advertising can be applied to your hiring process. We share some common missteps that could be discouraging potential applicants and reveal how to inspire a wider range of candidates to apply. With our hands-on tips, you'll be equipped to get the most out of your job description – attracting top-tier talent, enhancing the quality of applications and ultimately achieving better hiring outcomes. Tune in to learn how small adjustments could bring big changes in your recruitment success.

We love to hear your hiring experience, whether you're a hiring manager with 100s of hires, about to make your first hire, or an applicant that has a story to tell. Share your stories with Max & Mike at hiringexperiencepod@gmail.com

This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Speaker 1:

This is the Hiring Experience the podcast that helps you break down the art and science of hiring. Hosted by Max and Mike friends, founders and creators of rapid hiring, on a mission to bring an end to the resume, bringing you tactical advice to help you attract, select and retain the best talent. This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Max:

Okay, today we're talking about the first thing most people see when they go to apply to a job, one of the first things we take time to put up when we're thinking about hiring and start compiling, often sadly still, with a Google search the job description. We wanted to touch on it because, while some will tell you it doesn't matter because nobody reads them or they don't really provide that much value to the candidates and the applicants, we think that, while a lot of job descriptions don't, there is a way to improve on your job descriptions so that it can actually answer questions and serve as a information piece on what the job is and also an outline of the criteria that, as an applicant, you will be reviewed on and judged on as your qualification for this role. We start with each job description being broken down and focusing around the job, the qualifications, which include, obviously, your skills, your credentials that you need, licensing, regulatory requirements that may be involved, etc.

Mike:

I just want to put a point of emphasis on this here too, just so you understand some frame of reference as to why this is so important. I know we make a lot of hiring and recruitment versus business and strategy and sales comparisons, but effectively your job description is a paid advertisement for your company a lot of the time, and the goal of it is to convert to building your team, just like if you were to do a paid advertisement for your product or your service. You would like it to convert to customers. So you're going to put a lot of time and effort into your message, into your offer, into all these things, to have the highest chance of it being effective for your ad dollars as well. So we need to give that same level of attention to the job description. It's not just something you throw together, and we'll talk about the different points of that.

Max:

And building on what Mike's saying, a good starting point in comparison, depending on where you work. If you work in sales, what gets mentioned a lot is your ideal customer profile, or your ICP is a good analogy for your job description as you. If you try to just target everyone with your product, you're probably not going to sell to anybody where same, with your job descriptions being targeted in what it is you're looking for will help you attract those people and understand. When you understand who you're looking for, you'll have a better understanding of where they might be. And so we start off with.

Max:

When we look at qualifications, you'll write out a list of, say, the skills that are needed for this job, and we typically recommend that you involve somebody who has done this job or is doing this job actively in the process, and not Using Google as your source of information as what the skills are required for this role. And so, once you have that list, going through the list, separating into quickly what will be your must haves and nice to haves At the high level. But the real question is always like how does this criteria translate to the role and what is the value of hiring this qualification? And you have to be able to answer each of those for every single thing you're going to list On your job description, as when we have those listed out, then you have a better understanding that like this doesn't need to be here. Where this really needs to be here, we can't consider anybody doesn't meet this minimum qualification as they will not be successful in the role.

Max:

But most job descriptions will simply just list out basic skills for the job and then write things that follow it like experience in this is an asset. Well, so that's now you know. At least it's a bonus. But you can remove that from the basic criteria of qualifications because you're. If somebody doesn't have that, you should still encourage them to apply if they meet the basic minimum qualification.

Mike:

Yeah, there's two sides of that right. Like experience being an asset, you would want to have a base level of a certain type of experience as your minimum qualification. Sure, like if that's something that's very important and you think that they're not going to be successful in that role without that, then by all means. But if experience in the exact thing that you're doing at your company in the role is a base level qualifier for the role, it's very unlikely that you're going to have a huge pool of candidates and you're going to be Brushing over or not considering a lot of people that would excel in that role, because you were thinking that the only experience that translates is direct, exact experience, which isn't necessarily true.

Mike:

So, for example, in my you know, in my business career and just having operated service businesses and hired people for different roles where, for instance, they've had to operate pieces of equipment right. So if a requirement of the position was to use a skid steer, compact track loader or a zero turn lawnmower or something of that capacity, it would be tough for me to say the only people that qualify for this role are people that have directly use this piece of equipment, as opposed to understanding that people that have used equipment period. That would be the base level requirement. They'd be, you know, much easier to train using equipment. They'd understand that. You know equipment changes sounds when you're using it, if something's wrong, or vibrations, or looking for the little nuances of how to handle a piece of equipment in general and then applying it to a specific piece of equipment after that. Right. So you don't need exact experience as your base level requirement is kind of what I'm getting at.

Max:

Right and like, as Mike said, that, the understanding of that.

Max:

This is the minimum and this is the. The bonus qualification is a good delineation of what you're looking for, as when you go through your minimums, you can also stop and review a list of what would be considered alternatives to that qualification and you'll find that there's usually a broader spectrum of things that can qualify. Having that list as applicant may require one of the following is usually a good place to start because it allows you the ability to broaden your applicant pool and, in the time of tight labor markets and competitive hiring, the broader we can make the applicant pool of people that are likely to be successful in this role, the better everyone's experience becomes because, as most who have been involved in hiring know, the role that goes unfilled for 30 days, 40 days or 50 days will likely go on filled for 90 days, and there's a point where we have to stop and look at what are we doing wrong in this process to get that's taking so long and so a lot of that can start off with. Are we discouraging potential applicants because our job description was written to such a specific spec that people are disqualifying themselves prior to applying because they don't think they meet the criteria that you're going to evaluate them on, and that's often just because we, as the job description post person, has not put enough thought into what qualifications actually are required for that minimum set.

Mike:

Yeah, and on the other side of that as well, is the person qualifying themselves, because your criteria is something that everyone's going to think and agree with.

Mike:

For example, you know I just pulled up a random job description on on, indeed, here, to give you an example of this Openness to learn through daily interactions with peers, high level of integrity and accountability, eagerness to pursue new challenges. So like if I make bullet points of what you need for success in a role and put general things like this, like what is that really accomplish is just more words for no reason, because who's going to read this? That's applying for role and think that's not me. I'm not open to learn, I'm not eager to anything right. Like nobody looks at themselves in that capacity and thinks that they're not a fit, but you haven't gained any information in that exchange either. Like nobody that applies based on reading those bullet points. Like there's no progression of information learned there. So now you haven't contributed to understanding that candidate in any way and they really haven't contributed in showing that either, because it you know you're not excluding yourself based on these bullet points in a job description.

Max:

That ability to that to sit and look at what it is you're trying to do is interest in learning, like just like with some of these.

Mike:

I just don't understand.

Max:

But as Mike saying is, there's an element of it where where we want people to just take a minute and realize that if they're just platitudes on there, they're great. Like culture is important we're not discounting that but in the application itself, if you're trying to hire for a role that requires technical ability, it does require experience, because you're hiring a senior position is Something that is going to be more hands-on Versus at a desk. There's an element that you want to make that delineation in the job description so people can fully understand what it is they're applying for, and Getting that in front of them as fast as possible, because we also find that a lot of this pain comes in from. I wrote a job description because I think the job is X and then the person comes across and goes. I read the job description and I came to the conclusion that the job is Y and If we do a better job writing the job descriptions, we will out.

Max:

Both the reviewer and hiring manager and the applicant are on the same page of what the job they're applying for is and what the job you're hiring for is yeah, I'm trying to get both parties to come to the same conclusion Before your first interaction obviously there's a lot of things that people can do here to improve their job descriptions and we hope that can give people a little bit better understanding of what we're trying to do here, but also allow them to get some better candidates and Applications through their pipeline with some few small tweaks to what they're already doing.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the hiring experience. We hope you enjoyed this episode and learned something new about the art and science of hiring. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. This helps others discover the show. Share with a friend, colleague or anyone going through the hiring experience right now. Share your hiring experience with us at hiringexperiencepod at gmailcom.

Improving Job Descriptions for Hiring
Improving Job Descriptions for Better Hiring